BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
3 9999 06544 664 1
BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
ENDING JUNE 30, 1973
Digitized by the Internet Archive
FRANCIS W. SARGENT
CHARLES H. W. FOSTER
Secretary of Environmental Affairs
JOHN W. SEARS
FRANCIS W. SARGENT
CHARLES H. W. FOSTER
Secretary of Environmental Affairs
JOHN W. SEARS
JOHN A. CRONIN
JOHN F. HAGGERTY
ARTHUR T. LYMAN, JR.
VINCENT P. O'BRIEN
RICHARD I. FURBUSH
Secretary of the Commission
MARTIN F. COSGROVE
JOHN J. BEADES
JOHN W. FRENNING
JAMES T. O'DONNELL
Chief Administrative Assistants
JOHN A. KESSLER, JR.
JOHN F. SNEDEKER
JOHN W. WRIGHT
FRANCIS T. BERGIN
LAURENCE J. CARPENTER
Superintendent of Police
MASON J. CONDON
Director of Parks Engineering
Chief Parks Engineer
ALLAN GRIEVE, JR.
Director of Water Division
Chief Water Supply Engineer
ALLISON C. HAYES
Director of Sewerage Division
Chief Sewerage Engineer
WILLIAM T. KENNEY
Parks & Recreation Division
HAROLD L. DOWER
Director of Administrative Services
Director of Environmental Planning
Publication of this Document Approved by Alfred C. Holland. State Purchasing Agent.
2000 12 74 109272 Est. Cost $1 .00
THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
METROPOLITAN DISTRICT COMMISSION
20 SOMERSET STREET, BOSTON 02108
To His Excellency the Governor and the Secretary of Environmental Affairs:
To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives:
To the Honorable Mayors, Selectmen, and Municipal Officials:
To the Public of the Metropolitan Parks, Sewer, and Water Districts:
The Metropolitan District Commissioners submit herewith their Report of the activities of the
Commission for fiscal 1973, together with financial data for the same period. It is our hope that this
Report not only satisfies the requirements of Section 100 of Chapter 92 of the General Laws, but
also proves to be an informative and helpful account of a great state agency.
The present Commissioners have taken the position that the MDC should be changed in three ways.
First, its sense of identity, self-reliance, and purpose, had to be restored. We feel that we have
made substantial progress toward this result by strengthening the agency's capacity to plan, to pro-
tect its own resources, and to handle its own problems.
Second, the agency had to be modernized and streamlined, and be more efficient about the pro-
vision of services and the information provided to those being served. We have moved in this direction
by realigning divisions and creating new ones, and by stepping up our dialogue within government and
with the public.
Third, MDC's dynamism had to be renewed, and the agency had to begin thinking about the long-
range future of its parks, water supply, and sanitary systems. This has been accomplished by a series
of major task force efforts.
During the year 1972-73, these three purposes were forwarded by: positive MDC efforts to join
the Environmental Family as a member, comprehensive reorganization and centralization of Police
activities, establishment of Central Personnel, Purchasing and Repair services, termination of the old
bond-oriented salary and water refinancing systems, and creation of major multi-agency task forces
on Water Supply and Wastewater.
Meanwhile, the agency's debt has not, except in Water, increased over 1968 figures. Total per-
sonnel have declined 4.6% since June 1972 and 11.7% since June 1970. Total cost of operations
declined 1.4% since last year, and assessments to the cities and towns dropped 2.2%. We think in a
year of dramatic change and substantial pay increases, these figures show a record of good and care-
John W. Sears
The Year's Highlights
Significant progress toward enhancing the quality of
urban life — currently and long-range — has highlighted the
Metropolitan District Commission's 1973 fiscal year.
Applying its traditional, regional concept of supplying
vital services to nearly 2.5 million inhabitants of 54 G reater
Boston cities and towns, MDC has intensified efforts in
providing recreation, parks, open space, water supply, pol-
lution abatement, sewage collection and treatment, law
enforcement and traffic control.
The Parks District saw many additional facilities com-
pleted, featured by 4 rinks, 3 swimming pools, a new
sailing program and a revival of canoeing on the Charles
River. In the planning or design stage are large-scale
recreational projects, including conversion of Mystic River
Basin into a counterpart of the Charles River Basin and
Esplanade. Taking shape at Franklin Park Zoo is a dramatic
"Bird World," a prime example of the zoo's rehabilitation
theme of a free-moving environment for animals and bird-
life, to be further reflected in an all-season, 7-acre African
exhibit in the planning stage. Recreation programming has
stressed more intensive and diversified use of the parks
system. The Commission acquired several substantial park
In preparation for the Bicentennial, historic sites are
being restored and dressed up with new attractions.
Responding to demands, the Water District's distribu-
tion system is expanding steadily, while planning for supply
needs of the next decade and a study looking ahead a half-
century are progressing. Consumption in excess of safe
yield of watersheds still exists, underlining the urgency of
implementing plans for additional sources. The district con-
tinues to grow, with the 33rd member joining in 1973 and
another scheduled next year. Projections indicate 41
additional cities and towns must rely on the MDC system
for supplementary supply in the next generation. In
another phase, a fluoridation program is moving toward
Wastewater disposal solutions for the Sewerage District
are being explored in an intensive study looking ahead
through 2050. Meanwhile, water quality in Boston Harbor
and the Charles and Mystic rivers has been upgraded by
constructing treatment plants, enlarging the interceptor
sewer system to reduce overflows and rehabilitating harbor
tidegates. New-type treatment techniques are in prepara-
Parks Development 4
Recreation Activity 6
Historic Sites 11
Open Space Acquisition 12
Pollution Control 13
Water Supply 16
Metropolitan District Police 20
District Membership 28
District Map Inside Back Cover
tion or under study, particularly an in-stream approach on
A revamping of the administrative and management
structure of the Metropolitan District Police is progressing,
with emphasis on stronger headquarters operation and
specialized command and staff functions. A Traffic Plan-
ning unit and a Central Records system are among other
features of the reorganization program.
A breakdown of MDC membership shows 43 cities and
towns with 2,219,000 inhabitants in the Sewerage District;
33 communities and 1,911,730 residents in the Water Dis-
trict, and 37 with 2,025,000 population in the Parks
District. Twenty-three municipalities are members of all
three districts, 13 are served by 2 districts and 18 by 1
MDC's cost for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1973, was
$67,245,705, including $5,557,332 from the State Highway
Fund and other state-financed activity such as flood control
projects. This compared with $68,693,211 in 1972, of
which $8,004,076 came from state sources rather than
MDC District funding.
New Rinks, Pools Feature
Varied Parks Expansion
A big spurt in new recreational facilities has been seen
during the year, accompanied by steady growth of activity
programs and Parks District landholdings, now totaling
While rinks and pools have highlighted ongoing construc-
tion, MDC has also been busy developing such projects as
parks, zoos, sailing, athletic areas, beaches and fishing.
Large-scale planning and design efforts presage even
wider expansion of active and passive recreational oppor-
tunities and upgrading of many existing facilities.
In anticipation of the Bicentennial celebration, much
attention is being focused .on enhancing historic sites,
particularly Bunker Hill, Fort Independence and Fort
Recreation programming has continued to emphasize
innovative and more intensive use of the parks system.
An ambitious construction program has seen MDC's
largest simultaneous expansion of skating rinks and swim-
ming pools at an approximate cost of $5.2 million.
In an unprecedented event, 4 rinks were opened at Can-
ton, Waltham, Lynn and Weymouth on the same day for the
1972-73 season, enlarging the rink network to 25. Work
was started on a rink at the Hormel Stadium athletic com-
plex in Medford, while planning went forward for others in
North Cambridge and Boston's North End.
The North End rink in a projected City of Boston water-
front park will be unusual in several respects. Among its
features are a low profile by depressing the skating surface,
transparent walls at ground level to provide surrounding
harbor and park views and 500 seats for spectators.
Enclosure and improvements at rinks in Quincy, Hyde
Park and South Boston were completed, increasing the
number of fully-enclosed rinks to 13.
Three pools were placed in operation in West Roxbury
and Melrose and in Weymouth — the department's first
year-round swimming facility — boosting the total to 19
The rinks and pools are scattered throughout the Parks
District, close to easy access from main roadways and
situated to serve regional needs.
For beach-goers, selected sections at Revere and Nan-
tasket and the entire Tenean beach in Dorchester have been
upgraded by 125,000 tons of sand and beach erosion prob-
WOODSY SETTING is a prime natural asset at Cutler
Park in Need ham and Dedham where unspoiled tranquility
is found hardly 9 miles from downtown Boston.
BEACH IMPROVEMENT PROGRESS
lems have been studied by a professional hydrologist. Most
beaches have had selective sanding in recent years. A long-
range program for erosion control at Nantasket and Revere
is planned in cooperation with the Army Corps of Engineers
which has received approval of preliminary funding.
In the final preparation stage is a multi-faceted improve-
ment program at Wollaston Beach, where the southerly end
will be extended and a 3000-foot stretch of Quincy Shore
Drive relocated and realigned to provide additional parking
and picnic areas. A revised and expanded concept has pro-
vided for important environmental considerations such as
shifting new parking sites to cluster areas on the parkway's
inland side and a culvert-type structure for replacing Black's
Creek Bridge to retain existing water level and tidal action
in the upstream waters.
Meanwhile, the job of repairing seawalls and other
damage along MDC's 16-mile oceanfront wreaked by the
disastrous northeast storm of February, 1972, has been
completed at an approximate cost of $1.8 million, financed
in large measure by Federal emergency funds.
The exciting prospect of converting Mystic River Basin
into a counterpart of the famed Charles River Basin is being
finalized in a master plan for a multi-million dollar develop-
ment of the 525-acre fresh water area between Route 93
expressway and Amelia Earhart Dam.
MYSTIC RIVER DEVELOPMENT
A start has already been made on implementing some
phases of plans for marine, park, passive and active recrea-
tional facilities in the onetime tidal estuary which the new
Earhart Dam transformed in 1966 from unsightly, odorous
tidal flats into a fresh water expanse.
Construction began on a $196,000 boathouse and docks
on the Somerville shoreline off Route 93, patterned after
the highly-successful sailing program of Community Boating
on the Charles, founded in 1936. A similar program at
Pleasure Bay, South Boston, opened during the summer of
1972. In an adjacent area, a $127,000 site development is
underway, creating a 2-acre, landscaped park containing
180 trees, benches, flagstone terrace, walks and parking lot.
Across the river in Medford, the Hormel Stadium com-
plex is being enlarged by a new skating rink, along with
expanded parking space, an additional access road and land-
scaping. A newly -completed rugby -soccer field in this area,
described as the only full-sized rugby field in the country,
was inaugurated by an international, 6-team competition.
The basin water is being upgraded further by completion
of a large marginal conduit for combined storm water and
sewage overflows and a storm detention and chlorination
On the Charles River, Charlesbank Park in Boston's West
End has been revitalized by installing 2 lighted tennis
courts, a new football-soccer field, relocation of the base-
ball field and bleachers and landscaping. Upriver, an athletic
field house was built at Daly Recreation Center on Nonan-
tum Road, Brighton-Newton.
A unique site has provided a 4-acre park and recreation
area in Jamaica Plain. The location is in the cleared cor-
ridor of the abandoned Southwest Expressway project,
which is expected to be a forerunner of other community
uses of the 6-mile corridor.
An aesthetic and environmental lift has come from a
continuing tree and shrub planting program. Over 2000
additional plantings were placed in parks and along road-
sides and waterways, swelling the number to 10,000 in
Just over the horizon are additional significant projects
for expanding the parks system, highlighted by an indoor
schoolboy track and sports complex and a riverfront park
along the Neponset River in Dorchester.
Selection of the site is being implemented by Commission
action to acquire 36 acres with 4600 feet of shoreline and 7
acres offered by the City of Boston at the old Hallet Street
dump in the Neponset section.
A large-scale restoration of the onetime great Riverside
URBAN BACKGROUND of Beacon Hill and downtown
Boston provides a unique setting for sailing on Charles
River. (Boston Globe photo by Ellis Herwig)
SKI LIFT at Blue Hills Reservation
Park along Charles River in Newton and Weston is in the
planning stage. At Stony Brook Reservation in the West
Roxbury and Hyde Park sections of Boston, an early start
is due on an extensive face-lift and further development,
including a wide variety of recreational opportunities.
Moving along, too, is design work on restoring and de-
veloping the Magazine Beach recreational area off Memorial
Drive in Cambridge and installing additional facilities at
Constitution Beach in East Boston.
A low-keyed treatment stressing preservation of its
natural state is destined for Cutler Park in Needham, part
of the 825-acre reservation of woodlands, marshes and
meadows extending into Newton and Dedham, near Charles
Scheduled for award shortly is a contract for seawall re-
construction to protect the shoreline of Georges Island.
In recognition of growing popularity of bicycling for
physical fitness, recreation and commuting, design work is
proceeding to complete bikeways around Charles River
Basin. Bicycle paths are planned also for the Mystic River
Basin shoreline, Stony Brook Reservation and other loca-
Fishermen are not being overlooked in the park system
expansion. By next year they will be casting their lines from
a new recreational fishing pier at the Lynn Harbor mouth of
Saugus River, MDC's second salt water pier for anglers. The
other is at Castle Island, South Boston. For fresh-water
sportsmen, a water quality program was launched at 9
ponds to improve fishing and other recreation activity.
These efforts provided for chemical treatment, mechanical
weed harvesting and aeration techniques to correct weed
and algae problems.
Intensive, Diversified Programs
Widen Recreation Opportunities
Coincident with expanding facilities and open space, the
doors to recreational opportunities opened wider through
new types of activity and growing utilization of the parks
The growth of programs and special events has developed
from a policy of supplementing MDC's own efforts with
those of municipal agencies and organizations.
Typifying the diversification of uses, horse and dog
shows have been held at Blue Hills Reservation, nature
walks at major reservations, an international rugby tourna-
ment at Hormel Stadium, a soap box derby at Middlesex
Fells Reservation and a 4-H Fair at Franklin Park Zoo.
Pleasure Bay in South Boston was the scene of an Aqua-
Thing program and a Charles River Festival was held along
the Esplanade and at Hatch Shell.
Off-season activity by communities has been encouraged
at skating rinks to create vacation fun for youngsters, rather
than leaving the costly facilities idle. At one rink, free ten-
nis lessons were provided by United States Sports Clubs.
Street hockey tournaments held forth at 3 rinks, sponsored
by the National Street Hockey Association. Over 800
youngsters from several cities and towns enjoyed a variety
of activity at the East Boston rink, which later accom-
modated a unique off-season event — a community
reunion following a Columbus Day parade. Day camps and
a summer coffeehouse for young people were other ex-
amples of rink activity.
Greater public use of MDC waters scored outstanding
progress with the launching of a new sailing program, a
construction start on a second sailing facility and the begin-
ning of a resurgence of canoeing on the Charles River.
Sailing at Pleasure Bay, South Boston, took off with a
big splash in the late summer of 1972, involving 400
neophyte enthusiasts, mostly youngsters. Participation was
doubled during the 1973 season, highlighted by an inter-
scholastic regatta with 14 schools in competition. A similar
program is scheduled for 1974 on the Somerville shore of
Mystic River Basin.
The new sailing locations are designed to serve the north
and south regions of the Parks District, supplementing the
program operated for MDC by Community Boating, Inc.,
on the Charles.
Potential for these facilities can be seen in the growth of
Community Boating, whose junior and senior membership
has grown from 3008 to 5141 in a 10-year period. The
number jumped 1007 in the past 2 years. Besides in-
struction classes and pleasure sailing on the river, 814
members participated in 29 trips to Boston Harbor islands,
including 6 overnight camping excursions for seniors.
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HOCKEY ACT/ON, GRACEFUL FIGURE-SKATING and just skating for fun are
enjoyed at network of 25 rinks.
PROGRAMS FOR ELDERLY, HANDICAPPED
The canoeing revival on the Charles has begun by utiliz-
ing boat berths, docks and space at the river level of the
MDC Police Riverside Station in Auburndale for canoe
rentals. This is seen as a forerunner of a canoeing system at
14 locations eventually in the 30-mile stretch between
Wellesley and the Boston Esplanade.
A helping hand has been extended by providing recrea-
tional outlets for senior citizens, special children, blind
students and patients at a veterans hospital.
For the elderly, half-price fees were established for week-
day golf and the Children's Zoo, as well as exclusive use of
4 swimming pools at specified times and sailing at
Pleasure Bay. Students from Perkins School for the Blind
and retarded children have also been given sailing ex-
At the new year-round pool in Weymouth, a swimming
program for retarded and cerebral palsy children from the
South Shore was inaugurated. Another pool in West Rox-
bury was used as a rehabilitation technique for spinal
injury and orthopedic patients at nearby Veterans Ad-
A turnout of 1,872,221 at 24 skating rinks in service
during the 1972-73 season fell below last year's record high
of 2 million, even though 4 new rinks were opened in
December. The reduction was seen primarily in general
skating, which drew 797,221, a decrease of 218,994. This
was attributed largely to an open winter with unusually
good natural ice skating conditions. Another factor was
opening rinks 2 weeks later than in 1972 — mid-October for
fully -enclosed rinks and mid-November for others — due to
a budget staffing cut. However, the schedule still repre-
sented an earlier opening than seasons prior to 1972.
A total of 19,369 rental hours was made available for
hockey, speed and figure skating and other groups, accom-
modating about 1 million skaters. An estimated 75,000
participated in free physical education and special class
programs conducted during school hours. In cooperation
with Boston's School Department 11 rinks were utilized for
an open campus program.
Figure skating instruction was opened to adults at 13 of
20 rinks used by the Metropolitan Figure Skating School,
previously limited to youngsters, age 7 to 14.
Conflicting pressures for ice time between youth versus
school hockey groups was settled in favor of the youngsters
receiving priority for afternoon hours and older participants
on school teams being assigned early morning and late even-
ing hours. Next season some local recreation departments
will be assuming a major role in scheduling ice time and
programs for children.
Clearly, the most popular summer-time activity is bathing
at 17 ocean beaches and four fresh-water facilities, drawing
in excess of 15 million, according to estimates. Attendance
at the network of 19 pools was 473,184. an increase of
116.116 over 1972.
Athletics took over baseball, softball and Little League
fields in solid bookings from April through September.
Three stadiums, Dilboy in Somerville, Hormel in Medford
and Daly in Brighton, accommodated many high school
events, and Daly was also used for Boston State College
home games. Hormel's rugby field was heavily scheduled
and many school track practice sessions and season meets
were held at Dilbov and Hormel stadiums.
Fifty-five recreation leaders staffed 27 playgrounds and
the Pleasure Bay sailing program.
Fishermen had a good year in MDC waters. A welcome
development saw Quabbin Reservoir rise in elevation suf-
ficiently to reactivate an access location which had been
closed by low water since 1966, one of three available to
anglers. At Cutler Park in Needham, a new public access
was opened, leading to a 54-acre pond where sampling has
indicated unusual fishing.
All-time state records were smashed at Quabbin by
catches of an 11-pound walleye pike and a 17-pound, 13-
ounce lake trout. Quabbin's fishing areas drew 59,862
persons, up 5% over the previous year, and use of private
boats rose 3% to 12,696.
HATCH SHELL ATTRACTS 300,000
Performances at Hatch Shell continued to grow in
variety and attendance. Thirty free events in the popular
Charles River Basin riverside and park setting attracted well
over 300,000, who enjoyed diversified entertainment rang-
ing from traditional Esplanade Pops concerts of Boston
Symphony Orchestra and a Bach in the Basin Festival to
jazz, folk dance troupes and old-time movies. Eighty-six
band concerts were arranged at beaches and park reserva-
A few miles upstream, free summer theater returned for
the third season at the outdoor amphitheater on the site of
the former Metropolitan Boston Arts Center off Soldiers
Field Road, Allston. The non-profit Publick Theater also
staged its second series of indoor performances at the former
Institute of Contemporary Art Building, adjacent to the
summer theater site. The building and grounds have been
renamed in honor of former Governor Christian A. Herter.
NA TURE STUDY for students shown examining fungus
specimen near MDC's Trailside Museum, picnics and golf
at Ponkapoag course are among activities at Blue Hills
Family Togetherness at Rinks
Refreshing togetherness was much in evidence at
skating rinks last season. Family skating programs
organized by municipal recreation departments and
Parent-Teacher Associations attracted thousands of
parents and children, including awkward adults who
donned skates for the first time in many years.
Boston Harbor's scenic islands have become a major at-
traction. Georges Island and its historic Fort Warren lured
142,500 persons, including 482 outings, 80 camping groups
and individuals transported by 5 boat lines on scheduled
or charter trips and by private craft. Visitors were offered
guided tours, picnic areas, playground and overnight dock-
ing facilities, indoor and outdoor outing areas, with police,
guides, maintenance and other personnel on hand. At less-
developed nearby Lovell's Island, 20,000 persons enjoyed
105 outings or overnight camping. Off the Hull shore, Ped-
docks Island was the scene of 35 outings and camping
groups. The island, acquired in 1970, is available on a
permit basis, pending further development of public
Provocative education and stimulating recreation go
hand in hand in 3 popular programs for school systems
in the Parks District. These activities offer classroom
groups free museum visits, films, lectures and demonstra-
tions in curriculum-related subjects. Participating at the
Museum of Science were 70,686 individuals — an increase
of 923 over 1972 - ranging from 137 for Nahant to
19,085 for Boston. A choice of 11 different science lecture-
demonstrations was available. The Children's Museum
drew 29,178 in school and community groups, up 2167
over last year, and Trailside Museum had 14,980, a rise of
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CHARLES RIVER SHORELINE is lined with varied
park, recreation and athletic facilities. Among them are the
famed Hatch Shell and this typical playground.
(Photo by Jack Maley, MDC)
Among other activities were:
Ponkapoag's 36-hole layout in Canton, 97,237 rounds,
up 6394 over 1972; Martin Memorial's 18-hole course in
Weston, 41,245 rounds, an increase of 1394. Major events
at Ponkapoag included the CYO tournament with 505
entries, New England Junior Golf Championship, 630
entries, and the second annual Massachusetts Public Links
Championship, 80 competitors.
Zoos - Franklin Park, Boston, estimated attendance
400,000; Walter D. Stone, Stoneham, estimated 300,000;
Franklin Park Children's Zoo, 192,784; Boston Zoological
Society's Zoomobile, 210 appearances; MDC Traveling
Zoo, 111 appearances during summer season.
Trailside Museum, Canton, 83,840
Bunker Hill Monument, 53,222
Blue Hills Ski Area, Canton-Milton, 20,000 skiers and
15,000 at ski school.
Boston Children's Theater Stagemobile, 2 plays at each
of 10 locations during school vacation.
REVERE BEACH is the most heavily-attended of MDC's 17
ocean beaches. (Lynn Item photo by Bob Crosby)
"Bird's World" Project Underway
In Dramatic Zoo Development
Transforming Franklin Park Zoo into the modern con-
cept of a free-moving environment for animals and birdlife
has taken a big step forward with work well underway on a
dramatic "Bird's World."
The project is designed to rehabilitate the dilapidated
original flight cage built in 1912. incorporating a completely
new interior and an elevated walkway where visitors mingle
with flying birds among trees, plants, waterfalls and water-
ways. Adjacent to the avian - , the exhibit extends into a
three-level system of pools and a natural waterfall containing
a wide variety of water and marsh birds.
A reconstructed birdhouse is another phase of the SI. 6
million complex, where interior displays will show bird col-
lections in their indigenous environment, supplemented by
graphic signs and other educational aids. The area is being
enhanced by a big landscaping program, including over
5,000 trees, shrubs and other foliage.
The complex, scheduled for completion in 1974, is the
first major development undertaken by MDC and the Boston
Zoological Society since BZS assumed management in 1970.
The organization also operates MDC's Children's Zoo
at Franklin Park, Walter D. Stone Zoo in Stoneham and
Trailside Museum in the Blue Hills Reservation.
The multi-faceted program at these facilities has been re-
flected in higher attendance figures, reaching nearly 1
million in 1973, an increase of almost 100.000 over 1972.
Among these improvements, reconstruction of the range
area and barns at Franklin Park has been completed, featur-
ing 8 new moated exhibits which eliminate fences and other
barriers and provide an unobstructed view of free-running
Steady progress has been made in improving and enlarg-
ing the animal collection at Franklin Park and Stone zoos.
ZOO INHABITANTS include otters, penguins, sea lion
silhouetted against sky and rhinocerous.
emphasizing replacement of single animals with breeding
groups or pairs, as well as acquiring rare and endangered
animals. This is an effort to protect species from extinction
and also yield greater return from sale of offspring, thus
providing funds for further upgrading of the animal
Steps have been taken to provide conveniences for
visitors. Two new service centers have been opened, in-
cluding rest rooms, refreshment stands and tables and chairs.
A soft-tired trackless train has been installed as a combi-
nation lecture tour and transportation system.
Fun and education have also moved beyond zoo walls on
a big scale, as the BZS Zoomobile traveled to display and
explain species of small animals. There were 210 ap-
pearances, 108 of them in classrooms to provide a learning
experience for schoolchildren. During the summer season,
the MDC Traveling Zoo made 111 visits to parks and play-
grounds throughout the Metropolitan Parks District.
At Stone Zoo, efforts have centered on upgrading and
modifying exhibits, such as rebuilding the penguin display,
extensive planting and landscaping of the aviary, adding
animals to the African veldt scene and a new exhibit of local
water birds. The grounds have been embellished with more
trees and flowers and a picnic area.
Still ahead is Franklin Park Zoo's unique centerpiece —
an innovative, indoor-outdoor zoological exhibit in which
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large land animals can be seen all year.
The concept provides for natural settings and un-
obstructed animal display of African wildlife through the
use of hidden moats and scenic background. The facility
will stress an educational and interpretive program to foster
greater understanding and preservation of the environment
and the inter-relationships between mankind and other
living creatures. A big educational feature is the inclusion
of an auditorium, reference library, classrooms, teacher
resource center and an audio-visual center.
A feasibility study has now been completed and sche-
matic designs are in progress.
An $8 million allocation has been made from MDC's 1972
environmental capital outlay bond issue, while other fi-
nancing is being sought from Federal agencies. An intensive
drive for $6 million from private sources is also being
planned by BZS.
HISTORIC SITES are being embellished for Bicentennial
celebration, among them Fort Independence on Castle
Island in South Boston and Dorothy Quincy House in
Quincy. (Fort photo by Aerial Photos of N. E.)
Historic Sites Being Enhanced
For Bicentennial Celebration
The coming Bicentennial observance has stimulated
activity in enhancing historic landmarks in the parks system
for the benefit of an influx of visitors and residents.
As a prime magnet for the celebration. Bunker Hill Battle-
field and Monument is being given a multi-lingual, electronic
voice to relate the portentous events of June 17. 1775.
This is a system being installed to provide a narrator's de-
scription of the battle through wireless headsets in simulated
voices of Colonial and British officers while visitors view
nearby locations associated with the event.
A similar installation is planned for Fort Warren on
Georges Island in Boston Harbor, tracing its role in defending
the harbor in all American wars and its use as a Civil War
prison for Confederate civil and military personnel.
A descriptive narration will also be used at Fort
Independence on Castle Island. South Boston, relating a
military history stretching to pre-Revolutionary War years.
Tree planting has dressed up Bunker Hill grounds and
future upgrading calls for landscaping and improved exterior
lighting, new historical exhibits and refurbishing the lodge
at the monument base.
A master plan for restoring Fort Independence is well
advanced, designed to create interior exhibits and a view of
Boston Harbor from the fort's ramparts. One phase provides
for an archaeological investigation to recover artifacts. A
$1 million allocation for the program also covers develop-
ment of recreational areas at Castle Island and adjoining
Pleasure Bay. The fort's potential for dramatic portrayal
of history was demonstrated by a week-end bivouac of a
detachment of the Brigade of the American Revolution in
full Colonial Army uniform and equipment.
Another historic landmark, the Dorothy Quincy House
in Quincy, is undergoing a facelift, including both structural
and landscaping renovations to restore its original ap-
pearance, based on research of the interior and exterior
color and architectural details.
A memorial to intriguing historical lore — the crumbling,
30-foot Norumbega tower overlooking Charles River in
Weston — has been dismantled and restored, stone by stone.
It was erected in 1889 in tribute to Leif Erikson, the Norse
explorer who is believed by some historians to have ex-
plored the Charles River in 1000 A.D. and led Norsemen in
building a settlement at Norumbega.
BUNKER HILL MONUMENT and Fort Warren on
Georges Island are expected to be major attractions during
(Monument photo by Jack Maley, MDC)
Open Space Expansion Stressed
To Meet Growing Urban Needs
Preserving existing open space and expanding land-
holdings for recreational and ecological purposes have
become increasingly vital to urban population needs. The
Parks District holdings have now reached 14,332 acres.
Reflecting an energetic policy in this direction, MDC has
enlarged Breakheart Reservation by acquiring the 50-acre
Boy Scout property at Camp Nihan in Saugus. The area is
being used primarily by organizations on a permit basis for
overnight camping and day camp purposes, serving such
groups as Boy Scouts, Camp Fire girls and special programs
Aggressive action has been demanded in at least two
instances. A vigorous, last-ditch battle led to acquisition of
a prized, 4-acre shore property on Charles River in Needham,
known as Village Falls, which had been bought by a private
group. A 10-year extension of a lease of 8 acres on
Chickatawbut Hill in the Blue Hills, intended as a center for
youthful offenders, was also blocked.
The drive for other shorefront sites on the Charles saved
for public use a 4V2-acre area in Newton and a 2'/2-acre tract
at the Natick-Wellesley line. At the Stony Brook Reserva-
tion in the Hyde Park section of Boston, a 5-acre tract was
acquired from the city. Further progress was made toward
expanding holdings at Mother Brook in Boston's Readville
section and Dedham for recreation and flood control pur-
poses. Negotiations are continuing for purchase of 30 acres
of surplus Federal land on the southerly end of Deer Island.
PROJECTED CHARLES RIVER DAM in artist's conception shows (left to right) MDC Police patrol boat facility, 3 navi-
gation locks, pumping station and Paul Revere Landing Park providing a link to USS Constitution (Old Ironsides) docked at
Charlestown Navy Yard. Another major benefit is virtual elimination of salt water intrusion into the basin and its pollutant
Clean-Water Progress Seen In Harbor, River Programs
Movement toward clean-water goals in Boston Harbor
and its tributaries is showing marked progress, coinciding
with a start on a far-reaching study of wastewater disposal
solutions for the Metropolitan Sewerage District through
the year 2050.
Significant results already achieved in upgrading quality
of harbor waters are being broadened with an ongoing
program of rehabilitating defective tidegates at sewerage
line overflows, plans for sludge disposal at treatment plants
and steps to develop more advanced methods of sewage
Along the Charles and Mystic rivers, new treatment
techniques and miles of huge trunk sewer lines are pro-
ceeding to alleviate pollution and, at the same time,
reduce influx of pollutants into the harbor.
Clearing the way for strides in these directions was the
$110 million environmental capital outlay budget of 1972,
earmarking $83 million for pollution abatement projects,
in addition to $7 million for an innovative clean water pro-
gram on the Charles voted the same year. Available, also,
is a $13 million authorization for the present Charles River
estuary which will become a part of the lower basin when
the new dam is constructed.
Much of the program is designed to meet wastewater
treatment standards for Boston Harbor as outlined by the
Federal Environmental Protection Agency, including pro-
posed conversion of the Deer Island and Nut Island plants
from primary to secondary treatment.
In one phase of the harbor program. MDC is moving
toward eliminating disposal of digested sludge at outfalls in
the outer harbor emanating from Deer Island and Nut Island
plants. A study of alternatives by an MDC task force and a
consultant engineering firm concluded that incineration
was the most desirable method from the viewpoint of cost
benefit and environmental and sanitation solutions. The
system would also incorporate heat recovery for generating
electric power. Next step is preparation of plans and specifi-
Rehabilitation of defective tidegates is Hearing comple-
tion to remedy a significant source of inner harbor pollution
and eliminate an adverse effect on sewage treatment at Deer
Island. Based on an inspection of 187 tidegates in Boston's
main drainage system and 42 in East Boston, Charlestown
and Chelsea, 46 installations have been corrected at an ap-
proximate cost of $400,000. About 50 required no repairs.
Malfunctioning tidegates permit intrusion of millions of
gallons of sea water into the Boston and MDC sewerage
systems at high tide, diminishing normal capacity and
flushing sewage into the harbor on each tide cycle.
A milestone in pollution abatement is due early in 1974
when the last-remaining sewer line continuously discharging
untreated sewage into the harbor will be shut down. A
daily flow of 1 million gallons from Quincy's Squantum
section is scheduled for diversion from Boston's Moon
Island outlet by activating the new $2.7 million Squantum
Force Main, a 3-3/4 mile link to the MDC Nut Island
Sewage Treatment Plant in Quincy Bay.
These developments supplement the 1968 activation of
the Deer Island primary treatment plant, a keystone of
MDC's sewerage system, which has had a marked effect on
improving harbor water quality. Evidence of these results
has included re-opening of Winthrop town beaches and shell-
fish areas in the area, as well as a dramatic drop in median
coliform concentrations near Deer Island outfalls and a
substantial impact on the harbor's bacterial level.
NEW TECHNIQUES FOR CHARLES RIVER
On the Charles River, clean-water techniques are pointing
toward novel instream treatment methods, along with build-
ing traditional pollution control facilities.
An advanced installation has begun operation at Storrow
(Photo by Tom Reilly, MDC)
Lagoon on Boston's Esplanade shoreline, utilizing a chemical
method for removal of color and pollutants, mostly flowing
from swamps and urban runoff, such as streets and parking
lots and dumps. The small pilot plant will determine the
feasibility of a full-scale facility to treat up-river flow into
In another in-stream approach, MDC has authorized
design and installing experimental aeration equipment to
deal with localized pollutants caused mainly by storm run-
off. The first site would be near Havey Beach in West
Roxbury, with the prospect of other locations along the
A unique magnetic process operating from a floating
barge may provide an additional method of cleaning the
Charles, particularly the pool of stagnant salt water on the
basin bottom caused by harbor inflow through the Charles
River Dam. Preparation of preliminary design and cost
estimates has been approved.
Further influx of salt water will be controlled by the
new $41 million Charles River Dam to be built below North
Station by the Army Corps of Engineers in cooperation
with MDC. The multi-purpose facility, scheduled for con-
struction start next spring, will provide flood protection,
improve water quality, relieve navigation congestion at the
old dam by incorporating three locks and include a fish
Additional pollution abatement is planned in the river
estuary area. This project will extend sewer relief conduits
on the Boston and Cambridge shorelines to a new storm
detention, chlorination and pumping station for ultimate
CHARLES RIVER UPLIFT takes many forms. Among
them are a massively -equipped storm detention and ch/orin-
ation station above B. U. Bridge, and this typical 8-foot-
dia meter sewer conduit (left page) and canoeing cleanup
volunteers. (Photo by Tom Reilly, MDC)
discharge of treated overflows to tidewater beyond the new
In another facet of the clean-water program, polluting
overflows will be cut back by completion of a large North
Charles relief sewer in Cambridge at an estimated $13.2
million cost. Construction has entered the third of a four-
phased project which will stretch 3 miles from the vicinity
of Mt. Auburn Hospital to Main Street. The sewer line,
with pipes as big as 8'/2 feet in diameter, is designed to
enlarge existing capacity for carrying off combined storm
water and sewage overflows to Deer Island, along with a
link to the new Cottage Farm Stormwater Treatment
Station near B. U. Bridge.
The Cottage Farm plant is an advanced method of al-
leviating overflows of storm water and sewage from com-
bined sewers of Cambridge, Brookline and the South Charles,
which has been in operation for two years. The treatment
process provides for settling and chlorination before dis-
charging effluent into the river and subsequent flushing of
solids from detention tanks into sewer lines for treatment
at Deer Island. The facility was activated 44 times in 1973
and processed 462 million gallons of excess flow. Its capac-
ity is 233 million gallons per day.
A similar installation becomes operative this fall in the
Mystic River Basin, as part of a $1.6 million project to deal
with overflows of storm water and sewage discharging from
Somerville's combined sewerage system. The Somerville
marginal conduit was designed to carry the excess flow to
tidewater below the new Amelia Earhart Dam. The storm
detention and treatment process features innovative auto-
matic controls and a unique hypochlorite generator for
As a final phase of the Earhart Dam's flood control func-
tions, 3 large diesel engines, pumping units and related
equipment have been ordered at a cost of SI. 6 million,
preparatory to a construction start next year on a S5 mil-
lion structure to house the equipment.
In addition to flood control, the program has wiped out
odorous, unsightly tidal flats in the estuary by maintaining
a constant fresh water level and paved the way for devel-
oping the basin area for varied park, sports and marine recre-
Cleanup of debris and vegetation and dredging of Alewife
Brook from Cambridge to Mystic River was completed,
while treatment of aquatic weeds, algae and chlorides con-
tinued on Upper Mystic Lake.
In Maiden, a dual-purpose $7.1 million flood control
project and an adjoining interceptor trunk sewer were in the
final stage on Saugus Branch Brook, a tributary of Maiden
River, which in turn empties into Mystic River Basin. An-
other job to eliminate flooding at West End Brook was
completed under a $1.4 million contract.
While short-range goals of MDC's 43-member Sewerage
District are being implemented, the comprehensive engi-
neering-management study of wastewater needs through
2050 has swung into action. Its scope has been broadened
Volunteer Cleanup Effort
Easing Litter Problems
Off-season accumulation of litter and junk along
MDC waterways, park reservations and beaches still
pose a problem, but citizen concern over this blemish
of the environment has been much in evidence and
Volunteer cleanup drives have continued for the
fourth year, drawing thousands of conservation-
minded adults, college and high school groups and
youngsters as participants. Their efforts are producing
results, according to the Charles River Watershed
Association, which coordinated the annual river clean-
up in 1973.
A spokesman described "much better conditions
than ever before and a more positive attitude toward
the Charles on the part of at least some offenders."
Best evidence of reduced litter was the 103 truck-
loads carried away from the Charles, about one-third
of the previous year's pickup.
HUGE FLOOD PROTECTION PUMP is one of 6 to be
installed in new Charles River Dam and Locks now under
construction. Pumps can discharge 3.7 million gallons per
minute of flood runoff from Charles Basin into Boston
Harbor against high tides.
(Photo by Army Corps of Engineers)
to 109 communities and participation by 5 other govern-
ment agencies, with major emphasis on open planning
The program is considering engineering, economic and
wide-ranging environmental aspects. Among them are
population projections, land disposal of sewage, treatment
techniques, including land disposal of effluent, re-use and
reclamation; industrial waste, geographical limits of sewerage
systems, "fair share" charges for communities and industry
and administrative structures.
The $2 million wastewater management planning pro-
gram, jointly financed by MDC and the U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers, is directed by the 2 financing agencies and the
Metropolitan Area Planning Council, State Division of Water
Pollution Control, Office of State Planning and Management
and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Coordination
and management is being provided by MDC's Environmental
Planning Office, a newly-created unit reflecting the growing
emphasis on environmental concern.
Broad Water Supply Study
Prepares 50-year Blueprint
Detailed studies of long-range programs to expand water
supply and upgrade and extend distribution lines have been
pushed into the forefront during fiscal 1973.
Impetus for a clear-cut blueprint to meet growing needs
has come from a $1 million allocation for comprehensive
planning, underlined by current consumption beyond safe
yield and the prospect of an enlarged Metropolitan Water
A newly-formed Metropolitan Water Supply Develop-
ment Committee is conducting the program, coordinated
by MDC and including representatives of the U.S. Corps of
Engineers, State Department of Public Health, State Water
Resources Commission, Metropolitan Area Planning Council
and public members.
While the overall study will look ahead at least 50 years,
plans are well advanced for filling demands of the next
decade or more, principally by flood-skimming excess flow
of the Connecticut River and a major distribution tunnel
project in its final stages.
An interim plan is being prepared for expediting service
south of Boston to the towns of Avon, Holbrook, Randolph
and Stoughton and increasing the supply already being pro-
vided by MDC to Canton. Previously, a feasibility report
had been completed for these communities, as well as
Braintree and Weymouth.
An intensive study of the upper Sudbury River water-
shed is underway to determine the potential supply from the
75 square mile area by tapping and treating freshet flows.
The MDC's Sudbury reservoir supply presently draws from
a 22 square mile watershed.
Water Division engineers also participated in a water
supply survey covering 40 municipalities in conjunction with
the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission.
The report concluded that future needs of most of these
communities can be met from groundwater sources and also
surface water where necessary. Increased diversion of the
Ware River and tapping Quaboag River were mentioned as
possibilities for feeding Quabbin if greatly enlarged MDC
supply is needed in Central Massachusetts.
Meanwhile, preparations were being made to study ex-
isting distribution facilities for determining methods of
upgrading and expanding the system and another program
to examine water use, with emphasis on reducing waste and
developing other conservation techniques.
Two factors brought some relief to the water supply
situation in the form of above average rainfall during 1972
and 1973 and a slight drop in consumption, which reversed
an upward trend.
But engineers warned against complacency for the
QUABBIN RESERVOIR'S MAGNITUDE, stretching 18 miles in length, provides most of the Water District's supply,
while its surrounding wide-ranging forest and hills retain an unspoiled wilderness setting. (Aerial photo by Jack Maley, MDC)
future, based on analysis of long-range statistics covering
average precipitation, population trends and particularly
water use, which is still running above safe yield, according
to long-term calculations.
MDC's principal water supply at Quabbin Reservoir rose
to 89.3% of capacity as of June 30, 1973 and 5.85 feet
below maximum elevation — highest level in 10 years. A
year previously, Quabbin had only risen to 70.7% of
capacity. The 39 square mile reservoir has not been full
since 1961, the beginning of a 6-year drought which lowered
the giant reservoir to 45% of capacity by 1967. Precipita-
tion had been below normal for 9 of the 12 vears, prior to
Quabbin's level was swelled in 1972 by 10.34 inches of
precipitation above the 44-inch annual average and an ex-
cess of 7.5 inches in 1973.
Consumption had soared to a daily average of 321.6
million gallons in 1971 — a record high — falling to 318.7
mg in 1972 and 316 mg during 1973. The fall-off was
attributed to lessened summertime demand in the two wet
With these periods still well in excess of the system's
long-range safe yield of 300 mgd, the urgency of supple-
menting supply sources remained acute. The specter of
running short of water in the early '80's persists.
Preparations are going forward for augmenting Quabbin
sources by flood-skimming, under specified conditions,
about l r f of the Connecticut River's excess freshet flow
which now wastes into the Atlantic.
The plan will bolster MDC's annual supply by an average
of 72 mgd — nearly 25% of the current safe yield. It pro-
vides for a 10-mile aqueduct link between Quabbin and the
Northfield Mt. pumped storage reservoir built by Northeast
Utilities for hydro-electric power production. Terms of an
agreement with Northeast are being negotiated.
To expedite the $35 million project. MDC has already
prepared aerial surveys, mapping, field work, engineering
studies of the aqueduct route, borings and right of way
Flood-skimming in other locations is also in prospect to
meet anticipated demands for the '90*s and into the next
century. Besides the Sudbury River potential, a recent
study pointed toward tapping the Tully and Millers rivers
in Central Massachusetts and eventually using a cleaned-up
These possibilities grew out of an inter-agency study
indicating an estimated rise in demands from the current
316 mgd up to 475 mgd through 1990. The future needs
were based on supplementing local sources of 41 communi-
ties in addition to 33 members of the Metropolitan Water
District and 10 others served under special agreements.
The law stipulates that MDC must admit to the Water
District any community within 10 miles of the State House
and any other municipality within 15 miles which the Com-
mission "can reasonably supply." Eight of the 41 potential
members are within 10 miles, 23 in the 10-15mile zone and
10 beyond 15 miles with no option other than MDC for
Among the 8 listed as prospective partial-user mem-
bers within the 10-mile zone, the city of Woburn has now
joined the Water District as the 33rd member and the town
of Wellesley is finalizing an agreement.
The new facilities feeding Woburn will have sufficient
capacity for eventually serving the towns of Reading and
North Reading and also filling future needs of Stoneham
and Wakefield, both present members of the Water District.
Under construction is a $1,396,000 pipeline linking Woburn
with Spot Pond Reservoir where a new pumping station
will be built.
A big leap forward in enlarging the water distribution
system is scheduled for late 1974 with completion of the
$19.1 million Dorchester Tunnel — largest distribution pipe-
line project in many years.
The 10-foot diameter tunnel runs 6.3 miles from the City
Tunnel in Chestnut Hill, at the Brighton-Brookline line, to
Dorchester Lower Mills. It is designed to feed 300 mgd to
the Southern Water District, supplementing existing capacity
of 105 million gallons a day and improve water pressure for
800,000 residents in Brighton, Dorchester, Hyde Park,
Roxbury, Mattapan, South Boston, West Roxbury, Brook-
line, Quincy, Milton, Canton and Norwood.
Climaxing 5 years of drilling, blasting and boring 220 to
350 feet below the surface, the tunnel will also pave the
way for supplying prospective district members south of
The race against mounting demands saw another large
distribution pipeline completed — a 48-inch main running
2.75 miles in Somerville and Medford at a cost of $4.2 mil-
lion. The line increases available quantity and reinforces
pressure for an estimated 325,000 residents of Medford,
Somerville, Arlington, Belmont and Cambridge.
An intricate $1.3 million project was finished under the
Chelsea River, where a 36-inch water main was installed in
the ship channel, replacing one of the 2 under-river lines
serving East Boston. The new line was required at a lower
level because of the growth in the size of oil tankers using
Preparations for fluoridation as a dental health measure
were in progress. An engineering study of chemicals and
procedures was completed and the Commission promptly
authorized preparation of plans and specifications for
design of plant and equipment at a cost of $1 million. The
technique will include the addition of alkaline chemicals to
HUGE DORCHESTER TUNNEL nearing completion is
6.3 miles long and 10 feet in diameter, the largest pipeline
addition to the distribution system in many years.
adjust the pH factor and prevent increased corrosivity re-
sulting from fluoridation. This process will also alleviate a
problem in some older neighborhoods where acidic (soft)
water may presently be affecting lead pipes.
While annual operating expense will run about $600,000,
fluoridation on a district-wide basis will provide a substantial
saving for member communities as compared to individual
fluoridating systems. Many millions of dollars will be saved,
too, in dental care for persons under the age of 20 by re-
ducing tooth decay, according to the Massachusetts Dental
The program was launched on the basis of a ruling by
the Attorney General, who said that MDC must fluoridate
its water supply in view of favorable action by a majority of
Boards of Health in the Water District. Health officials in
28 of 33 member communities have gone on record for
On the financial side, MDC's longtime efforts were being
renewed to obtain legislative approval for a pay-as-you-go
method of meeting Water District costs, rather than the
provision for piling up debt and interest obligations to de-
fray annual deficits which has been in effect since 1945.
This practice accounts for $54.5 million of the water
system's $130 million outstanding bond indebtedness as of
June 30, 1973.
Traffic Congestion, Safety Needs
Challenge MDC Roadway System
Smoothing movement and improving safety for vehicular
and pedestrian traffic in Metropolitan Boston has become
an increasingly difficult goal.
The problem has been intensified by constantly mounting
volume, peak-hour strain by commuting motorists and a
trend toward minimizing growth of expressway -type access
into the core areas.
Much of the responsibility lies with MDC which patrols
and maintains many main arteries and parkways within
Route 128 and provides policing of the Northeast Express-
way, Central Artery and Southeast Expressway, which are
owned and maintained by the State Department of Public
Although traffic solutions have turned to expanded mass
transit, there is still a pressing need for improving MDC
thoroughfares, relieving congested traffic and dealing with
strained and weakened bridges, while maintaining and en-
hancing scenic parkway values.
Construction is proceeding on replacement of the worn-
out, unsafe, 69-year-old Prison Point Bridge between East
Cambridge and Charlestown, with a spring 1974 opening
planned. The project is being built for MDC by the State
Department of Public Works, an arrangement which quali-
fied for 100% Federal reimbursement of the $3.9 million
cost under a railroad bridge replacement program.
The 4-lane structure is connected to the recently re-
constructed Rutherford Avenue in Charlestown and includes
a pedestrian overpass for improved access to the new Bunker
Hill Community College. The bridge also ties in with a
major traffic relief program for the Northern Artery system
from East Cambridge to Wellington Circle, Medford.
Another focal point is Morrissey Boulevard, serving as
the automobile gateway to the new University of Massachu-
setts-Boston campus at Columbia Point, Dorchester.
A comprehensive area-wide intersection improvement
effort was undertaken along the boulevard in cooperation
with the City of Boston, State DPW, the university and
community groups. Fourteen intersections were assembled
in one improvement package for 1974 completion. The
improvements include changes at Freeport Street, the
university entrance, Kosciuszko and Pulaski Circles and Old
Colony Avenue. In addition, the old Patten's Cove culvert
is being replaced by a stronger, modern structure.
Signalized intersections will be coordinated to provide
smooth traffic flow with improved pedestrian access across
busy Morrissey Boulevard at various locations. This is
another project proceeding in conjunction with the State
DPW. Federal funds are being requested for the $1.2 mil-
lion job through DPW.
SOLDIERS FIELD ROAD in Boston, with Larz Ander-
son Bridge in background, handles heavy traffic but retains
park and scenic features along the Charles River.
A major parkway, beach erosion and landscaping pro-
ject is underway on Quincy Shore Drive to improve safety,
pedestrian access and open space amenities. The first phase,
slated for completion shortly, includes new traffic signals,
a flood control culvert, trunk line sewer connection and
improved roadway profile. This will be followed by a new
median, resurfacing, street-lighting and better safety control
of parking and pedestrian access.
Several significant roadway reconstruction and major re-
surfacing projects were completed or substantially under-
way. Among them were major sections of the Jamaicaway.
Riverway and Memorial Drive and a complete redesign and
reconstruction of Greenough Boulevard adjacent to the
Watertown Arsenal and Charles River. The riverside boul-
evard work incorporates new drainage, curbing, pedestrian
and bicycle paths and landscaping, due for completion next
A severe problem arising from rundown and over-
burdened bridges still faces MDC, handicapped by lack of
adequate financing which is being sought again this year
from the State Highway Fund.
Some of these are structures dating to the horse and
buggy days and others built for pleasure vehicles on park-
way systems and later pressed into service for general traffic
With the increase in traffic loads and truck weights up to
70 tons, many of these bridges have suffered badly from the
ravages of time and heavy loads. Pending available fi-
nancing, emergency repair contracts have been awarded for
5 important bridges during 1973 at a cost of $375,000,
causing considerable traffic inconvenience.
First steps to initiate preliminary design have been taken
in several cases, preparatory to launching an estimated $17.5
The larger structures requiring replacement, new super-
structures or other major work include Harvard Bridge over
Charles River, Wellington Bridge between Somerville and
Medford, Columbia Road Bridge in Dorchester, 2 rail-
road bridges on Alewife Brook Parkway in Cambridge,
Dorchester Bay Bridge, a McGrath Highway bridge in Somer-
ville and General Lawrence Bridge, Veterans Memorial Park-
As a vital adjunct to roadway construction, MDC is
carrying on a continuous program for improving traffic and
street lights as safety measures. There are 62 locations on
MDC parkways and boulevards where traffic signals are in
some stage of final design. Numerous other intersections
are undergoing preliminary design work. Street lighting
improvements are undergoing preparation or construction
on Alewife Brook Parkway, Hammond Pond Parkway, VFW
Parkway, and the Storrow Drive and Esplanade area.
Consultants have completed a study and preliminary
designs for modifications on two key roadways, Storrow
Drive -Soldiers Field Road in Boston and the Lynnway in
To improve the pleasure qualities of travel on parkways
an extensive tree-planting program is continuing. Increased
attention is also being given to planning recreational and
commuter bikeways in response to the increased use of
bicycles. A major contract for improvements and ex-
tension of bikepaths along Charles River is under prepara-
tion for a construction start next year.
Charles River Bikeway
Police Reorganization Stresses
Centralized Management System
Change has continued to be the dominant theme of the
Metropolitan Police during the past year. The emphasis,
however, switched to internal operations and management
following the submission of a Federally-funded consultant
The report stressed that MDC's police force has adapted
to the changing needs of our times through innovative oper-
ational measures, but its administrative and management
structure has not kept pace, despite tremendous growth of
miles of expressways and roads and the increase in crime
To cope more effectively with the tasks of controlling
and managing a force of 650 men spread over an area of
500 square miles and performing a large variety of duties,
the report recommends a more centralized management and
information system. Of equal importance is the fact that
the report recommends some changes in the decentralized
concept of service delivery, embodied in the existence of
seven major police stations in the metropolitan area.
Essential to modernization is the building of a stronger
headquarters operation with increased specialization at the
command and staff levels to complement the various tasks
and services performed by the decentralized patrol personnel.
The major theme of the reorganization is the assignment
of command responsibility in each major area of police
activity. Thus, the many supportive activities for effective
patrol and response as well as actual patrol operations will
each be under the command of a deputy superintendent.
TRAFFIC PLANNING UNIT
A Traffic Planning unit has been established to begin
studying the major problems of commuter traffic flow,
accident investigation and prevention and enforcement. It
is possible that this study will result in the formation of a
large squad of men devoted exclusively to these major
To insure responsible command capability at all times of
the day or night a Watch Commander function has been
organized. With this step the division is beginning to move
towards a more centrally controlled operation. Improve-
ment in the radio communication system will provide
increased coverage and better communication between head-
quarters and the various stations. A system of satellite
receivers, purchased with Federal and State funds, will pro-
vide input to a system which will automatically select the
best radio signal, thus giving a clearer message to the radio
VARIED FUNCTIONS are performed by MDC Police,
among them mounted patrol, underwater recovery, boatmen
and traffic control on 186 miles of roadways.
Essential to all of these improvements and changes will
be a Central Records system. This will provide command
personnel with accurate, timely information about events
and resources. Such data will enable them to assign men
and equipment to areas where they are most needed. The
procedure will be an expansion of an existing system for
pinpointing traffic accidents.
The existing accident information system provides com-
parative data for hundreds of locations throughout the
Metropolitan Parks District. Accidents are recorded by
type, time, cause and other significant data. Citations
issued by police officers are also recorded for each of these
locations. Thus, commanders can compare enforcement
efforts and accident records as a guide to highway safety
operations. This information has been and will continue to
be used for deploying enforcement personnel and devel-
oping high accident location enforcement campaigns. A
comparable system will be developed for all types of police
During the past year the highly successful undercover
narcotics operation continued to make inroads in reducing
this type of criminal activity. The operation also high-
lighted the cooperation between MDC and cities and towns
in the Parks District. K-9 officers and dogs as well as the
scuba team assisted local law enforcement agencies. Further
versatility was developed by some members of the scuba
team who received training in bomb search and disposal
techniques to protect MDC facilities and assist cities and
towns when the need arises.
Despite emphasis on recreation, parklands and a vital
traffic network under MDC jurisdiction, Metropolitan Police
must also be prepared to cope with a wide variety of crime,
a goal which is being met by a dynamic approach to ever-
changing problems of law enforcement.
Outstanding Police Performance
Recognized by Commendations
Training and courage go hand in hand for out-
standing performance of duty by officers of the Met-
ropolitan Police. Here are some examples of events
that have been honored in the past year by depart-
mental commendations and citations by other agen-
Three officers who plunged into raging ocean surf
in efforts to avert drowning tragedies . . . Four mem-
bers of the scuba team recovering murder evidence
from the bottom of the Charles River during three
days of sub-freezing weather ... An undercover nar-
cotics team breaking up a drug-pushing operation
preying on high school students . . . Two undercover
men probing drug pushers brutally beaten by a gang
attack after their "cover" was broken, illustrating the
extreme hazards of their assignment.
How MDC Organization Delivers Regional Services
The Metropolitan District Commission's concept is based
on the belief that communities in Metropolitan Boston can
derive greater benefits with more efficiency and lower costs
through regional operation of parks, water and sewerage
It has become increasingly evident that many facets of
urban life and the environment can be developed and
administered most effectively without regard for municipal
This trend originated in 1889 with the creation of the
Metropolitan Sewerage Commission as the nation's first
legally-constituted metropolitan district. Then came the
Metropolitan Parks District in 1893 and the Metropolitan
Water Board in 1895. The three agencies were consolidated
into the Metropolitan District Commission in 1919 for
greater efficiency and economy.
Operations are governed by a 5-member Commission ap-
pointed by the Governor. A Commissioner serves as full-
time executive and administrative head of the agency. The
Commissioner is joined by 4 part-time Associate Com-
missioners at weekly meetings in setting policy, approving
contracts and participating in decisions on departmental
operations. The Commissioner and Associate Commissioners
each have an equal vote, except that "concurrence of the
Commissioner and of not less than 2 Associate Commis-
sioners shall be required for the execution of contracts and
of such other official actions of the Commission as may be
required by law."
The Reorganization Act of 1969 establishing a cabinet
system placed MDC under the jurisdiction of the Executive
Office of Environmental Affairs, headed by Secretary
Charles H. W. Foster.
As a department of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,
MDC must obtain approval of its operating budget and bond
issues for capital construction from the Governor and
To keep cities and towns informed about activities, public
hearings are required annually for municipal officials in the
Parks, Sewerage and Water Districts regarding improvements,
extensions, new facilities and financial data.
In addition to central administrative functions, MDC is
presently organized into 6 operational divisions: Water,
Sewerage, Construction Engineering, Parks and Recreation,
Park Engineering and Police.
All legal aspects of the agency's functions are supervised
by the Office of General Counsel, such as drafting legal
opinions, contracts, proposed legislation, directives and rules
and regulations, dealing with public bidding procedure, con-
ducting or participating in quasi-judicial hearings in the areas
of personnel, labor relations and police administration, and
advising the Commission on various questions of law.
A Planning Section is primarily concerned with park and
recreational development, roadway system improvements,
landscaping and open space acquisition. The Financial
Office operates a data-processing unit for payroll and other
departmental uses, processes all receipts and disbursements,
maintains fiscal records and serves as the department's ac-
counting office. Interviews and job placement functions
are handled by a Personnel Office, which also negotiates
collective bargaining agreements, maintains personnel re-
cords, co-ordinates enrollment in training courses and
conducts an alcoholic rehabilitation program.
Environment and open space have been given high
priority status, leading to creation of new Environmental
Planning, Land Planning and Environmental Quality units,
which are playing a key role in MDC programs.
A reference library has been established as a source of
historical data, publications, reports and other data.
Another resource is a newly -organized language bank,
with departmental personnel capable of conversing, reading
and writing in 21 languages.
The Construction Engineering Division is responsible for
planning, engineering and supervising construction of facili-
ties for the Water and Sewerage Divisions, flood control and
some Parks District projects. The completed facilities are
turned over to the operating divisions for maintenance and
Twenty -five contracts were in various stages of construc-
tion or completed during fiscal 1973, totaling $43,611,987.
Awarded in this period were 13 contracts amounting to
$5,300,332. They included 2 for the water system at
$20,750; 10 for sewage disposal or pollution control,
$4,488,822, and 1 for flood control, $790,760.
Six were previously awarded and still in progress for a
total of $32,341,536. One of these was for the Water Divi-
sion at $19,100,385; 4 for Sewerage, $7,842,579, and a
drainage and flood control project at $5,398,571.
Six contracts awarded prior to 1973 amounting to
$5,970,117 were completed and 6 others awarded in 1973
were finished, totaling $312,663. Three of the completed
contracts were for the Water Division at a cost of
$4,268,144; 7 for the Sewerage Division, $436,726, and 2
flood control projects at $1,577,910.
The purpose of the Water Division is to provide a suf-
ficient supply of pure water to communities in the
Metropolitan Water District and such other cities and towns
as can be reasonably supplied.
Twenty-five communities receive their entire water sup-
ply and 7 a partial supply, with an area of 309 square miles
and 1,874,000 population. The City of Woburn (pop.
37,406) was admitted as the 33rd member on August 9,
1972, as a partial user, but will not be linked to the system
until completion of a new pipeline and pumping station.
Ten communities in Central Massachusetts located near
MDC reservoirs and aqueducts are supplied in whole or in
part under special agreements.
The Water District's sources are the Quabbin, Wachusett
and Sudbury watersheds and the runoff of the Ware River
watershed during certain periods. Storage reservoirs on these
watersheds have a capacity of 495 billion gallons, prin-
cipally at Quabbin Reservoir with its capacity of 412 bil-
lion gallons and Wachusett's 67 billion gallons.
The water supply is delivered to Metropolitan Boston
through 121 miles of aqueducts and distributed via approx-
imately 250 miles of pipelines, mostly by gravity flow.
Facilities under control of the Water Division include 6
storage reservoirs with 467 square miles of tributary water-
shed, a water surface of 30,000 acres, 4 hydro-electric
power stations, 16 miles of high tension power transmission
lines, 12 distribution pumping stations to service high ele-
vations and 16 distribution reservoirs with a capacity of 3.1
Six contracts totaling $1,474,917 were awarded during
fiscal 1973, including $1,396,707 for the pipeline linking
the system with Woburn. Five previously awarded con-
tracts were completed at a cost of $1,373,558, highlighted
by a project relocating a large water main under Chelsea
River between Chelsea and East Boston at a cost of
$1,339,752. The other work dealt with various mainte-
nance and repair requirements.
An intricate sewerage and treatment system is under the
jurisdiction of the Sewerage Division. Its vast sewage col-
lection and pollution abatement functions require mainte-
nance and operation of 12 pumping stations, 2 treatment
plants, 4 pre-treatment headworks, a detention and chlo-
rination station for combined storm water and sewage over-
flows along Charles River Basin and 226 miles of trunk
Forty-three cities and towns covering 408 square miles
are members of the Sewerage District, with 2,219,000 in-
habitants. Wastewater flows through 4,980 miles of local
sewers connected to MDC trunk lines at 1,775 locations,
an increase of 59 miles over the previous year. The munic-
ipal lines link 391,449 individual connections with the MDC
system, an increase of 2,233 in the past year.
Average daily sewage load was 487 million gallons and
the 24-hour maximum flow was 785 mgd passing through
primary treatment and chlorination at Deer Island and Nut
Island plants before discharge via outfalls into outer Boston
Harbor. The process provides screening and grit removal,
pre-chlorination, pre-aeration, primary sedimentation and
post chlorination. Raw sludge is treated by thickening and
high rate digestion prior to discharge.
The Town of Holbrook became a member of the district
in 1971, but is not contributing sewage to the system as yet.
There were 9 contracts for maintenance and repairs
awarded by the division or in effect during fiscal 1973,
PARK ENGINEERING DIVISION
The multi-faceted functions of the Park Engineering
Division includes designing, engineering services, complete
contract document preparation and supervision of new con-
struction and major repairs of park facilities, roadways,
bridges, drawbridges and locks, street lighting and traffic
Upon completion, new facilities come under the juris-
diction of the Parks and Recreation Division for operating
and routine maintenance.
Sixty-seven contracts were awarded, in progress or com-
pleted at a total cost of $10,078,559.
PARKS & RECREATION DIVISION
MDC's newest division is Parks and Recreation, formed in
1970 by combining operation and maintenance of park res-
ervations, recreational facilities and roadways with the Rec-
reation Section. Previously, these functions were admin-
istered by district captains of MDC Police. Operation of
locks and drawbridges was transferred subsequently to this
agency from the Parks Engineering Division.
Now the largest division in MDC, Parks & Recreation has
responsibility for 14,332 acres of parkland, including 5
major reservations, as well as 17 miles of beaches, 25 skating
rinks, 19 swimming pools, 3 18-hole golf courses, 168 miles
of roadway and a wide variety of other recreational facili-
ties, parks and reservations. The division also has adminis-
trative and maintenance responsibility for zoos.
Primary mission of the Police Division is protection of
MDC property and people using its facilities and patrol of
186 miles of MDC roadways and the Northeast, Southeast
and Central Artery expressways, within Suffolk County,
which are maintained by the State Department of Public
Works. The division also has full police powers in any com-
munity where MDC has property.
Its broad responsibility for law enforcement at parklands,
waterways, harbor islands and roadways requires highly-
diversified functions and equipment. Among them are K-9.
scuba, detective, bomb disposal and narcotic units, a tactical
force, regional police academy, patrol boats, mounted
policemen, breathalyzers, radar and other highway safety
and enforcement devices.
MDC Police plays an important role in assisting local
police departments in certain contingencies, particularly
those requiring specialized training, equipment and man-
RIGHT OF WAY FUNCTIONS
The legal aspects of land takings, easements and convey-
ances are performed by the Right of Way Section for rec-
reational, flood control, sewerage and water supply pur-
poses. Permits, easements, deeds and other types of
instruments are also processed, along with maintaining and
updating an inventors of MDC land. The section has an
enforcement unit which deals with encroachment on MDC
lands, pollution of rivers and streams and other similar
Assessments Primary Source of MDC Financing
As a regional public agency, the Metropolitan District
Commission is financed primarily by assessments on 54
communities which are members of one or more of its 3
Additional money comes from the State Highway Fund,
State General Fund, state allocations for certain flood con-
trol projects and miscellaneous revenue such as fees, rentals,
licenses, permits, fines, penalties, sales, Federal reimburse-
ments or grants, etc.
The operating budget and bond issues for capital con-
struction are subject to approval by the Legislature and
Principal financing sources for the 3 districts are the
PARKS - Recreational capital construction by bond
issues, amortized by assessments based on property tax
valuations of communities in the district; maintenance of
boulevards and reservations and police costs by 60% from
the State Highway Fund, 1% from the State's General Fund
and 39% by member cities and towns with one-third based
on population and two-thirds on valuation; highway and
bridge construction by legislative allocations from state
highway bond issues.
WATER - Charge of $120 per million gallons, with special
provisions for communities outside the Water District.
SEWERAGE - Debt requirements apportioned on the
basis of capacity of municipal sewers connected to MDC
sewerage system; maintenance expense assessed on the basis
During the fiscal year which started July 1, 1972, and
ended June 30, 1973, the Commission spent $39,018,166
on maintenance and operations. The sum of $22,670,207
was paid for interest and retirement of bonds issued for
capital projects, and bonds to cover water fund deficits. The
combined expenditure was $61,688,373.
Additionally, $5,557,332 was expended for highway con-
struction and certain flood control projects allocated from
state highway bond issues and other special authorizations.
These are financed by state funds rather than assessments
on MDC cities and towns.
The $67,245,705 total represented 58% for maintenance
and operations, 34% for payment on bonded debt and 8%
for expenditures from state bond funds not assessed on
MDC cities and towns.
Despite a cost of living pay increase averaging 3.8% and
other effects of the inflationary trend, expenditures for
maintenance and operations were reduced from $39,586,201
in 1972 to $39,018,166 in 1973, a drop of $568,035. Debt
service rose to $22,670,207, an increase of $1,567,273.
Legislation shifting Engineering Division expense from
long-term construction bond issues to an annual appropria-
tion had minimal impact, for the change affected only 5
weeks of the fiscal year. For next year, however, the
Sewerage and Water districts will each be charged 49% of
the division's annual budget of nearly $4 million and 2% will
come from the state's General Fund. Use of bond funds
had been legislatively authorized since 1926 to cover the
Engineering Division's payroll and other costs, primarily for
sewer, water and flood control projects.
• I ncludes cost of MDC Police operations.
Note — An additional $5,557,332 was spent in 1973 and $8,004,076 in 1972 for highway construction projects financed
by state highway bond issues and flood control and other special authorizations financed by General Fund bond issues
rather than assessments on MDC cities and towns.
PRINCIPAL INCOME SOURCES
$12,608,369 37 Cities & Towns
• 15,797,188 43 Cities & Towns
12,512,424 32 Cities & Towns
2,767,888 Admissions, Sales,
Deficit 3,585,000 3,680,000
Total $63,586,462 $62,625,797
* I ncludes deferred assessment of $1 ,729,454
Note: Income figures for Water and Sewerage differ slightly from assessment table, due to various adjustments.
The Commission continues its efforts to operate managed resources in a businesslike manner. It bears repetition that MDC's
sale of power, licenses, fees, concession permits, etc., do not accrue to the Commission for re-use, but rather flow directly into
the appropriate fund and thereby reduces assessments against cities and towns. Federal reimbursements ordinarily have the
Largest expenditure of the Commission has been, as always, personnel, shown as follows:
1973 1972 1971
Administration $ 566,340 $ 544,111 $ 539,457
Engineering 3,324,074 2,940.438 2.482.421
Highway Eng. 476.456 427,007 387.581
Parks Eng. 8,692,089 9,148.472 8.668,848
Police 7,365,332 6.931.721 6.363,563
Sewerage 4,487,642 4,336,135 4,132.322
Water 4,922,443 4.916,154 4.643,978
Total $29,834,376 $29,244,038 $27,218,170
•Includes permanent, temporary and seasonal employees as of June 30.
TOTAL PERMANENT AND TEMPORARY EMPLOYEES AS OF JUNE 30
Parks & Parks Eng.
Finally, a word must be said about the debt structure for which MDC is responsible. Although there has been a flattening
trend in terms of construction in recent years, there will soon again be substantial increases caused by the Water Division's major
new Dorchester Tunnel and the Northfield-Quabbin Reservoir aqueduct for diverting excess Connecticut River water. In ad-
dition, ongoing wastewater studies, accompanied by strong pressure from the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency will com-
pel a costly upgrading of the Deer Island and Nut Island sewerage treatment systems.
When these prospects are combined with the steady climb in water deficit-financing bonds, it will be seen that the current
debt is already overheavy and that its future condition is somewhat alarming.
A significant factor in the Water Fund indebtedness has been the issuance of long-term bonds to cover annual deficits, a pro-
cedure instituted by law in 1946 and responsible for borrowing $97.5 million in obligations by 1973, of which $54,541,000
is currently outstanding. Interest payments have practically doubled the cost of payments on deficit debt. A pay-as-you-
go system to end this practice has been urged in the past by MDC and the proposal is pending with the 1973 Legislature.
* Includes Water Fund deficit debt.
TOTAL ASSESSMENTS FOR METROPOLITAN DISTRICTS FOR 1972
Cities and Towns
Lynnfield Water District
203.25 < 97
SI 6.321. 881.64
542. 11 2.628.39
Note: Assessments for 1972
were received in fi
(Beyond the Water District the MDC furnishes
the entire water supply for Chicopee, South
Hadley Fire District No. 1 and Wilbraham, a
partial supply to Clinton, Framingham, Leom-
inster, Marlboro, Northboro and Southboro and
an emergency standby connection for Wor-
•Bedford joined the Sewerage District in June, 1970, with sewage for part of the town handled through the town of
Lexington under special contract. Holbrook became a member of Sewerage District in January, 1971, but is not con-
tributing sewage to the system.
••Woburn was admitted to Water District in August, 1972, but receives no supply pending construction of a new pipe-
line and pumping station.
METROPOLITAN DISTRICT COMMISSION
Parks - Water - Sewerage
Total Members -54
Member of all three MDC districts
Member of two districts
D Member of one district
P Parks - 37
If Water - 33
S Sewerage - 43
Note: Woburn was admitted to Water District August 9. 1972. but received no supply pending
construction of a new pipeline and pumping station.